Monday, June 28, 2010

Tshirts to Pjs

Recycling an adult tshirt into knit shorts for kids is one of the quickest and easiest sewing projects around. Here I changed a plain white shirt into bloomers or PJs for my daughter. I traced an existing pair of shorts (my son's actually!) to get the shape. Using the hem of the shirt as the hem of the pants, I only had to cut two pieces and sew three seams plus the waistband. That is done by a quick fold over casing into which a length of elastic is inserted. The ruffle is just a gathered strip of the tshirt sewn on.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Little Girls becoming Big Girls

My daughter completed her first machine-sewing project lately. She's 8. She made a simple two-sided doll blanket, picking out the fabrics herself for the front and back. It was an easy sew up the sides, leave a seam open, flip inside out, then topstitch sort of blanket. Lots of pressing, too. She did it all, except the topstitching. Didn't want to try that. But there was enough new info for her to process I didn't mind helping her a bit. See how happy she is about it?
Now she's doing a task she's much more familiar with: handstitching. She's quilting the two layers together with DMC floss, planning where to do the stitching all on her own. I like her sense of style! My own love of creating and design makes it very hard for me to remain hands-off and not get in her way. I encourage her to keep trying and not get frustrated when knots happen, needles come unthreaded, supplies get lost. There's SO much to learn when it comes to "project management!"
I'm so proud of my little girl; she's becoming a beautiful "column, sculpted in the palace style."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


A detail of some sweet goodness that just came off my knitting needles! The rest will be revealed later on..... it's a surprise! :)

And lest you think I've gone bonkers and am now knitting with PURPLE yarn, it's really blue-violet. I keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Knitter's Nightmare

What could be worse than knitting a pair of socks, then losing one sock?

How about finding the lost sock and discovering that it's been destroyed?

I was so excited to find my lost sock (between the washer and the wall)! I gave it a quick wash along with some towels, but when I pulled it out to lovingly line dry it, I saw HOLES! BIG ONES! Aaack!

I'm not sure if they were there before the spin in the wash machine, but I will definitely be putting my handknit socks in a lingerie bag from now on when washing them. I suggest you do, too!

So, back to the holey sock. I've been known to darn socks, and boy, was I darning this one. I counted at least 5 holes, 2 of which I could darn easily enough, but the others were monsters. I decided to rip out the toe of the sock and reknit. Thank goodness I had extra yarn (and saved it!)

Here's the progress...from holey mess to 2 holes darned and toe ripped back to finished product!

You can hardly tell which one has been fixed! The 2010 sock count is back up to 6...out of 20. I better get cracking!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bugs and boys

Summer is a great time to catch & learn about bugs... especially lightning bugs!!

Kind of ugly little critters, aren't they? Did you know that if one flies into your windshield while it's lit up, you'll get a trail of glowing goo on your window that stays lit for quite some time?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dojo, don't ya know?

I've been wearing the "graphic designer" hat again. A teen I know came up with a great idea for a patch to put on his Christian dojo's karate uniforms. He asked me to take his drawing/idea to the next level, getting it ready for production. Here's what we came up with! I can't wait to see the finished product!
(oh, and please respect our artwork. Don't use this image without my permission. Thanx)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Purple Again?

Purple has been popping up in my life a lot lately. It's a color I'm not fond of, mostly in terms of clothes for myself. I have no idea what got into me when I found this bold butterfly print bedsheet at Goodwill... something said it needed to become a dress.

And so it did. The pattern is "Prairie Girl" by Favorite Things. It's perfect for a bold print because there are few seams to break up the pattern. It took about an hour to cut out and another 2-3 hours to sew. That's with a lot of interruptions. The pattern directions were clear, but I'd recommend them for someone who has an idea about garment construction. The few drawings included were mildly helpful. The only mods I made to the pattern were to add bust darts on the sides as well as two darts up the back to pull in the fabric. Perhaps I made a size too large. The only thing I'm not excited about is how wide the shoulders are. That will get trimmed down next time!

I plan on making another one of these in a shirt length using the short sleeve option. The ruffles just aren't doing it for me. I did not make the dickie or placket to fill in the V-neck; I opted to wear a cami underneath instead. Perhaps that will be added later.
My 8 yr old photographer in training gets the credits for the pics. Thus the strained look on my face (don't drop the camera!!).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Garden Colors

The first pickings from our garden! Purple bush beans are a favorite with the kids. They turn green like regular beans when you cook them. Unfortunately, this is about the extent of our harvest. It seems that the pesky cardinal who taps on our door also likes to raid the garden.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quilting Heritage

It seems quilting is a family trait. I've made several quilts, my mom, my grandma, her mother.... and I'm fortunate enough to have handiwork from these ladies to remember them. My paternal grandma passed away a few months ago. The family had to sort through her things and discovered exactly how much of a crafty lady she was. TUBS of crochet cotton, BAGS of yarn and fabric scraps, CHESTS of goes on. She was the queen of the barbie doll TP covers, doilies, knitting, and more.
Knowing that I liked to knit/crochet/sew/quilt/dabble, they brought me some of her things. Like 30 sets of knitting needles (no kidding). A dozen or more balls of crochet cotton thread, very vintage pattern books for various edgings with humorous quips about dressing up your undies. Treasures galore!
But the most amazing thing they gave me is this quilt:

I have no idea what the pattern is called, so I'm calling it the North Star Quilt. Do you know what or even how this type of block is pieced? I'm stumped! Grandma had this neatly folded away in a cedar chest for decades, so it looks like it's fresh off the sewing machine. She even labelled it. "Grandma Koops made this." That's her mother. My great grandmother. All three of us love turquois. Must be genetic.

This isn't the only quilt I have from this woman. I've had this butterfly quilt since childhood, and now the her great great grandchildren enjoy it. Aren't the similarities amazing? She must've had a lot of turquois in her stash. If only she had Kona Cotton back then! Both quilts are tied and feature scraps cut from clothing. I really really wish I could've seen her wardrobe because there are some trippin' fabrics in there! The butterfly quilt was falling apart in places and needed to be repaired a couple years ago. I took the liberties to label it so future generations would remember who created it. Labelling runs in the family, too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

explosive birthday

It's a birthday here today - and what 6 yr old wouldn't want a volcano cake? The recent eruptions in Iceland, along with a well-timed study of Mt. Vesuvius, has the little folks here interested in volcanoes, lava, and explosions. This was possibly the easiest cake I've made outside of a pan-shaped cake. Ours was inspired by the model at FamilyFun.